Why is my internet so slow all the time? Many of us are relying on our home internet more than ever for work, leisure, social interaction and more. With so many important aspects of life reliant on the internet it can be incredibly frustrating when it is slow. Today, we are going to walk through some steps to make sure your home internet is as optimized as possible.
Check your plan’s speed
The first thing you’ll want to do is check your internet plan to see if the speed of service you’ve purchased will meet your current demand. Since stay-at-home recommendations have taken effect across the world, you may have increased your usage from when you initially signed up for service. Check out the Broadband Speed Guide on FCC.gov to estimate what type of plan you might need.
Check your router’s speed specifications
Next, check to see if your router supports the speed you are paying for. It may be time for an upgrade. Even though this may seem like a higher cost investment at first, many internet service providers will loan you a modem/router with your service plan for a monthly fee that adds up over time.
Perform a speed test
After that, it’s time to test your speed. I do this before every conference call or live stream to make sure my internet can handle it. Speedtest.net is a popular online free resource that will tell you your ping, download and upload speeds at any given time. There are also broadband speed test apps if you want an alternative. Unfortunately, fluctuating internet speeds are a reality most of us have gotten used to, but if you see your internet regularly below what your ISP is charging you for, you should contact them to see what the issue is. Sometimes a quick router reset will do the trick, but other times, it could be more complicated than that.
2.4GHz vs 5GHz: what’s the difference?
Wireless routers and wireless router-modem combo units usually have two signals: 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band. Note: a 5GHz band is different than 5G. Some service providers have stopped giving dual-band routers because too many people complained about not wanting 5G in their houses but that’s a whole separate video for another day. Dual-band routers offer 2.4 GHz connections for broader coverage space but process data slower than 5GHz connections. They can also be impacted by neighboring networks, so you might want to try and change the channel in your router’s settings to one that’s not as popular. On the other hand, 5GHz connections process data faster, and offer more stable connections, but the signal coverage is shorter than 2.4GHz and many smarthome devices aren’t 5GHz compatible. If you do have a 5GHz network available you should dedicate it to your most important uses such as work or online courses… or competitive gaming.
Where you put your router is also important. Try to place it in a central location up off the floor uninhibited by other devices so that it can give you as much coverage as possible. Your router may have a limited range or have trouble giving signal through floors and walls and try to avoid placing it near big sheets of metal. If you are still having issues you can try a different router – some work better for certain home setups than others – or get a wifi range extender or mesh network router to improve the wifi signal strength. If possible, a direct ethernet cable connection between the router and your device will provide the highest speeds and alleviate wifi congestion issues, but that’s not always attainable depending on your setup.
Do you have any tips we didn’t cover in this video? Please share them below because your solution may be exactly what someone else needs to avoid the spinning wheel of doom.